New principals announced for Elementary M and Switzerland Point Middle School
By NewsLine Staff
Randall “Jud” Strickland, principal of Cunningham Creek Elementary (CCE), has been selected by Superintendent Tim Forson to be the principal of elementary “M” currently being constructed at 2675 Pacetti Road and Kirstie Gabaldon, assistant principal of Sebastian Middle School, has been selected to be the principal of Switzerland Point Middle School replacing Lisa Kunze who was recently chosen selected to be the principal of Allen D. Nease High School (NHS). Both nominations will be presented to the School Board at its Feb. 14 meeting.
Strickland has served as the principal of CCE since 2013. Prior to this, he served more than 20 years in the Duval County Public School System where he spent 10 years as a principal and was responsible for opening Bartram Springs Elementary School. He also held the position of executive director for elementary turnaround schools and as chief of elementary schools where he was responsible for leading and managing 53 elementary and two K-8 schools with more than 30,000 students.
“Mr. Strickland is a proven leader with a breadth of experience,” said Superintendent Forson. “His knowledge on opening a school will serve him well for Elementary ‘M’ and I know he will easily connect with the students and community to prepare for the 2017-2018 school year.”
Strickland has a bachelor’s and master’s degree from the University of North Florida.
With more than 17 years of experience, Gabaldon has spent her entire career serving the students in St. Johns County. She started as a teacher at NHS and then went on to be the registrar at Bartram Trail High School before joining Creekside High School as an assistant principal. She also served at Murray Middle School when it was in need of an assistant principal for an extended period. She joined Sebastian Middle School prior to the start of this school year.
“Ms. Gabaldon has been an exceptional assistant principal and I am extremely confident in her leadership abilities,” said Forson. “She brings an enthusiasm and a can-do attitude that will continue the excellence at SPMS.”
Gabaldon has a bachelor’s degree from the University of East Anglia, England and a master’s degree from the University of North Florida.
Forson will begin gathering input from staff and the community for the new principal of CCE in the coming weeks.